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Le droit du peuple palestinien à l'autodétermination - Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien, Etude de la Division des droits palestiniens Français
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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
1 January 1979


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    The Right of Self Determination in International Law
    Palestine and Self-Determination - The Peace Conference
    Palestine and Self-Determination - The Mandate Period
    Palestine and the United Nations - The First Phase
    The Affirmation by the United Nations of the Right of Self-Determination of the Palestinian People
    References and Notes


Previous studies in this series, "The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem" and "The Right of Return of the Palestinian People" provide a background for the present study.

This study examines the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people in a broad context including the various resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on the subject.

The first article of the International Covenant on civil and Political Rights, and of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reads: It is beyond the scope of this study to analyse or adjudicate between the various arguments in academic and juridical circles as to whether the concept of self-determination constitutes a "principle" or a "right". This study is based on the axiom that the right of self-determination exists as a crucial element in contemporary international life and is recognized as such by the political world community. To an appreciable extent this situation is the product of the role of the United Nations itself in shooing concepts and practice in international law.*

* These developments are not examined in any detail here as they are dealt with exhaustively in two other UN studies prepared for the Commission on Human Rights:
(a) Implementation of United Nations Resolutions relating to the right of peoples under colonial and alien domination to self-determination (by Mr. Hector Gros-Espiell, Special Rapporteurs document E/CN.4/Sub. 405 of 20 June 1978, in two volumes).
(b) The historical and current development of the right of self-determination on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments adopted by United Nations organs, with particular reference to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms (by Mr. Aureliu Cristescu, Special Rapporteur; under preparation).

Classical theories in international law evolving from the 16th century onward, when the principle of freedom for the individual was not applied to the community, appear to pay little attention to the principle of national self-determination. Advancing from the era where the systems of government of entities of varying nature and size were shaped by considerations of dynasty and power, the concept of self-determination as a principle in international relations was foreshadowed by the assertion in the French revolution of the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people - that government should rest on the will of the people and not on the will of the ruler.

The national revolutions in the Western Hemisphere against European colonialism were the classical historical manifestations of the still unformulated concept of self-determination. The American Revolution is the classical case of the assertion of the right to struggle for freedom, and the establishment of the independent states of South America foreshadowed the power of the modern concept.

It is only in the 20th century, after the end of the First World War, that the legitimization of certain fundamental and natural principles long recognized as essential to individual liberty, received concrete consideration in the context of the ordering of international relations. The principle of self-determination of peoples was postulated in its incipient form by President Woodrow Wilson in the following words:

In the context of the Paris Conference the Wilsonian concept was stated in the "Fourteen Points", asserting that colonized peoples had a claim to self-determination equal to the claims of established governments: The future of the non-Turkish territories of the Ottoman Empire was one of the principal issues to be dealt with by the Allied Powers, and here too the Wilsonian idea of self-determination was expressed as follows: Ironically, the nascent principle of self-determination did not find a place in the Covenant of the League of Nations. Instead, responding to the still powerful compulsions of the colonial era, the dominant powers accommodated the demands of the new morality emerging in international relations, particularly concerning the rights of colonized peoples, by the innovation of the Mandates system.

Article 22 of the Covenant (text at annex I) established the Mandate system on the idea of placing colonized peoples under the "tutelage...of advanced nations". However, these colonies were not to be disposed of by the mandatory powers as they wished, but rather formed "a sacred trust of civilisation". The degree of tutelage was to depend on the state of political development of the territory concerned. The most advanced were to be Class "A" mandates, regarding which the Covenant declared:

All but one of the Class "A" mandates achieved independence, at the latest soon after the end of the Second World War. In juridical terms, however, the concept of the right of self-determination advanced little in the period between the wars. But powerful political forces demanding freedom from foreign rule had emerged among colonized peoples during this period and the advent of the United Nations at the beginning of the period of decolonization provided a strong impulsion in the legitimisation of the right of self-determination.

The recognition in 1945 by the United Nations, in the first article of the Charter, of the principle of self-determination has already been quoted. Article 55 also acknowledged this principle as follows:

By 1952 the General Assembly had recognized the right of peoples and nations to self-determination as applicable particularly to former League of Nations mandates which still had not achieved independence and were being administered through the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations, as Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories: Following consideration of various reports of the Human Rights Commission, presented through the Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly passed the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples which, inter alia, stated that the Assembly: The second paragraph quoted above formed part of the first article of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of December 1966.*

*p.1 supra.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 had not dealt with the collective right of self-determination as it was concerned essentially with individual human rights. But it is relevant to note that the Declaration established the principle of equality from which the right of self-determination derives. Article 1 of the Declaration reads:

Having traced in outline the course of the development of the concept of the right of self-determination through the various international instruments, one may now survey juridical and academic opinions which assert the law-making force of these instruments and their effect in establishing the right of self-determination as a principle of international law. Many of these opinions encompass discussion of such issues as the status of UN resolutions in international law in general and, in particular, the effect of the resolutions asserting the right of self-determination on claims of domestic jurisdiction (based on Article 2 (7) of the Charter), rights of minorities and on the question of succession.

Professor William Ernest Hocking writes the following on the right of self­-determination:

Professor A. Rigo Sureda traces the evolution of the right of self-determination in the following fashion (after surveying certain political trends of the 19th century): Professor Ian Brownlie writes the following regarding the legal status of the right of self-determination: Professor Rosalyn Higgins, discussing the relationship between the right of self-determination and the claim of domestic jurisdiction, writes: After discussing the process leading to the 1952 General Assembly resolution on self-determination, she further states that: After discussing the 1960 Declaration on the granting of independence, she goes on to say: In other writings on the role of United Nations organs in contributing to international law, Professor Higgins states: Judge Jessup, in another dissenting opinion in the same case, stated: in regard to the law making role of United Nations organs: Judge Lachs, before being appointed to the Hague Court, noting the General Assembly's consistent reiteration of the right of self-determination, wrote that the Declaration of 1960*, asserting the right of self-determination, should now be: ____________
* General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960.

There are, as already indicated, jurists and academics who differ from the view quoted, and take the view that organs of the United Nations cannot make international law, and that self-determination is not an established principle of international law, and some of these are quoted below:

Professor Alfred Cobban, writing after the Second World War, comments:

Professor Leo Gross does not consider that self-determination is established as a legal principle. He asserts that: Professor Rupert Emerson declares: Elsewhere, Professor Emerson writes: These views have been quoted to illustrate the variety of opinions on the issue of the juridical position in international law of the right of self-determination. However, as already indicated, from the standpoint of this study, the right of self-determination is taken as an established principle of international law in view of the consistent stand of the General Assembly which, as asserted by Judge Tanaka, reflects the will of the international community.

That the right of self-determination has achieved the nature of jus cogens is supported in the UN study mentioned earlier which states:

* "(1) International jus cogens - … - means peremptory rules of general international law ...
"(2) Individual parties may not contract out of such international jus cogens
"(3) Any treaty purporting to affect international jus cogens is void unless it contains new rules of international jus cogens." 19/

Another authority writes:

Within this frame of reference, one can examine the issue of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people as it has evolved through the period of a League of Nations mandate and then in the United Nations.



* The course of the Palestine issue after the First World War and during the mandate period is traced in the first study in this series : The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine problem, Part I, 1917-1947; UN Publication ST/SR/SER.F/1.

Even before self-determination emerged as a principle in international relations in the context of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the Arab peoples subjects of the Ottoman Empire had received assurances from the British government of their independence after the end of the war. These assurances were contained in what is known as the "Hussain-McMahon correspondence" in 1915-1916 between Sherif Hussain, Emir of Mecca, acting as spokesman for the Arabs, and Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner for Egypt. The Sherif categorically demanded "independence of the Arab countries", detailing the boundaries of the areas involved, and McMahon confirmed that "Great Britain is prepared to recognise and support the independence of the Arabs in all the regions within the limits demanded by the Sherif of Mecca".

Subsequently there arose a divergence of views regarding whether the territory of Palestine was included in the areas to become independent. The British Government asserted that other letters in the correspondence had excluded Palestine; Arab spokesmen insisted this was not so.

This became a crucial point in the Palestine issue, for soon after these Anglo-Arab understandings, the British entered into conflicting commitments involving the territory of Palestine, through assurances given to the Zionist Organization regarding the establishment of a "Jewish national home" in Palestine. The "Balfour Declaration" of 2 November 1917, (carrying the name of the British Foreign Secretary) informed the Zionist Organization that:

To appease Arab misgivings aroused by this move, the British Government issued further assurances. On 4 January 1918, it sent a special message to Sherif Hussain stating that: Regarding the "Jewish national home", however, the message stated that : On June 16, 1918, six months after the British occupation of Jerusalem, another British declaration addressed to the Arabs, referring to areas formerly under Ottoman dominion, occupied by the Allied forces during the present war", stated: An Anglo-French declaration followed on 7 November 1918, stating that : Notwithstanding these assurances of independence to the Arab peoples, based in spirit on the yet unphrased principle of self-determination, the British Government proceeded with the policy enunciated by the Balfour Declaration, and the critical question of the place of Palestine in the understandings of the Hussain-McMahon correspondence was addressed only over twenty years later after the correspondence was made public in 1939. A committee, consisting of Arab and British governments was appointed to examine the question. Each side maintained its respective interpretation of the correspondence, but the conclusion of the Committee's report strongly implied that the British Government had not possessed the competence to alienate the territory of Palestine, stating: While Great Britain administered Palestine from the end of 1917 as the occupying power, it moved, in collaboration with the Zionist Organization, to obtain sanction from the League of Nations, under the Mandates system, to implement the policy for the establishment of the Jewish national home" under the Balfour Declaration. The legality of the Declaration itself has been strongly challenged by Palestinian and Arab spokesmen, and also has been questioned by other authorities. Professor Sol Linowitz may be quoted as an example: The legal status of the Declaration assumes special importance because, while under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the essence of the Mandates system was supposed to be the advancement of the political and other interests of the peoples of the territories concerned, in the case of Palestine the inclusion of the Balfour policy in the mandate opened the way for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine with consequent implications for the fundamental political rights of the majority of the indigenous people of Palestine. The Declaration (which had been drafted with the active participation of the Zionist Organization) only paid attention to their 'civil and religious rights", referring to the Palestinians as "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" although they constituted over 90% of the population.

That the goal of the Zionist Organization was the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine was known. In its first Congress held in Basle in 1897, it had declared that its aim was to "create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law". The meaning of this resolution was given by the founder of the Zionist Organization, Dr. Theodor Herzl:

The goal was clear to high officials of the British Government which was drafting the terms of the proposed mandate. Lord Curzon, who had succeeded Balfour as Foreign Secretary, and who was opposed to the Balfour policy, wrote to Balfour: At the Peace Conference, President Wilson was concerned about the implementation of the new principle of self-determination in the mandates negotiations. He stated that "one of the fundamental principles to which the United States of America adhered was the consent of the governed" and proposed the appointment of an international commission " elucidate the state of opinion in the soil to be worked on by any mandatory". Following the reluctance of the other Allied Powers to appoint members, the "King-Crane Commission" was composed of two Americans. The Commission's report stated in respect of Palestine, with reference to the Wilsonian principle of self-determination: and recommended: Noting the strong opposition in Palestine to the Balfour policy and to the prospect of Great Britain and France as mandatory powers, the Commission proposed a United States mandate over Syria, including Palestine, but this was not given serious consideration by the Allied Powers. The policy being considered by them was the subject of a memorandum by Lord Balfour to Lord Curzon: Lord Balfour also wrote, separately, of the effects of the Anglo-French declaration of November 1918 on the Balfour policy for Palestine at a moment when the principle of self-determination was receiving attention: It is thus evident that in 1919 the intention of the Allied Powers, with the exception of the United States, was not to secure the right of self-determination for the indigenous people of Palestine, but to ensure the establishment of a "Jewish national home" in Palestine. However, the United States was also to endorse the Palestine Mandate after it was formulated. The drafting of the mandate also was completed with active Zionist participation, and the Mandate for Palestine came into effect on 24 July 1922, its principal clauses reading as follows: While some writers have maintained that the League was legally competent to include whatever terms it chose in the mandate, several authorities have pointed to the contradiction by the Palestine mandate of the source of the authority for the mandates system - Article 22 of the Covenant. They have also noted the consequent infringement of the right of self-determination of the indigenous people of Palestine. Two illustrative views may be quoted. Professor Rupert Emerson, writing in 1967, expresses this view : Thus it seems evident that, at the time that the principle of self-determination was being considered by the states that were to form the League of Nations, it was being denied to the people of Palestine.


Shortly before the formal start of the mandate, the British government issued, on 1 July 1922, a White Paper reiterating the Balfour policy subordinating the interests of the indigenous people of Palestine, thus reiterating the infringement of the principle of self-determination. The White Paper (issued under the authority of Sir Winston Churchill, then Colonial Secretary) signalling the start of massive immigration into Palestine in order to expand the Jewish community and establish the "national home", declared that: Some years later, Churchill made clear that the British policy was not directed toward securing the advance of the people of Palestine toward independence and self-government. He stated that the aim of the 1922 White Paper was: Under the mandate the British Government was faced with what was described as the "dual obligation" created by the Balfour Declaration, and the Churchill policy made clear which one was to dominate. The demographic composition of Palestine was transformed during thirty years of British administration, from 1917 to 1947. The Jewish community, which numbered 56,000 in 1917 and increased to 84,000 by 1922 at the start of the mandate, rose to 608,000 by 1946. 3/ During this period, the total population of Palestine mounted from 750,000 (in 1922) to 1,850,000. In proportionate terms, the Jewish population in this time increased less than a tenth to about a third. Much of this increase was due to large-scale immigration of European Jews fleeing Nazi persecution and terror, seeking refuge in Palestine.

The people of Palestine resisted the denial of the independence they had anticipated after the end of the war, and also the effect on their country of large-scale immigration. This resistance was manifested in a series of revolts. Commissions appointed to investigate the causes of these uprisings, while defending British policy and acknowledging the progress made by the Jewish Agency (representing the Zionist Organization) toward consolidating the "national home", consistently, but in varying language, pointed to the denial of self-determination as a fundamental cause of the uprisings.

On the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration there were non-violent protests, but by April 1920, two years before the formalising of the mandate, protests had become violent. A military commission of inquiry found that the underlying causes of the riots were:

A serious outbreak of violence followed in May 1921, the Commission of Inquiry commenting: After a period of relative calm, there was a major outbreak of violence in August 1929. The Commission of Inquiry's findings were as follows: That such a feeling existed among the leaders of the Arabs and the official and educated classes there can be no question... In 1933 there were fresh uprisings, the following comments being made on the causes (in the context of the sudden influx of European Jewish refugees): By 1936 there was an open rebellion in Palestine, involving the British Government in major military operations against the rebels, lasting until 1939. The Royal Commission appointed to investigate the "disturbances" reported inter alia as follows: The Royal Commission's findings on the causes of the rebellion were as follow: The Commission commented in the following words on the demands of the indigenous people of Palestine for self-determination and independence: The Royal Commission recommended the partition of Palestine into two States. The Zionist Congress rejected the proposal as "unacceptable", declaring that: The people of Palestine also resisted the partition plan and, in the face of a resurgence of the rebellion, the British Government reversed its initial acceptance of the partition proposal. A round-table conference was held in London in 1939, where the British Government attempted, in separate discussions with representations of the Palestinians and the Zionist Organization, to find an agreed policy. The attempt foundered in the face of Zionist demands for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, and the Palestinians' refusal to relinquish their natural rights of self-determination and independence.

The British Government then announced its intention to terminate the mandate by 1949 with the establishment of a unified state in Palestine. A White Paper issued in May 1939 stated:

This British policy could not be implemented. In May 1942 the Jewish Agency issued the following declaration: In frustration, the British Government announced that it would turn the Palestine problem over to the United Nations. The initial step was the appointment of an Anglo-American Inquiry Committee. The Committee's report of April 1946 noting the assertion of the Jewish claim of historical connexion to Palestine, and the establishment by the Jewish Agency during the Mandate of "a state within a state", summed up the Palestinian Arab claim to self-determination as follows: Another London Conference in 146 proved abortive and the British Government submitted the issue to the United Nations in 1947, the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people being unrealized after thirty years of mandatory rule.

Professor Hocking had made the following comment in 1932 on the Palestine Mandate:



At the time that it was taken up by the United Nations in 1947, the Palestine issue had become a case sui generis. The natural rights of the people of Palestine had come into conflict with the demands of a sizeable and powerful minority created as a result of the Mandate policy, accentuated by the flight of Jewish refugees from Europe, and violence ravaged Palestine.

Although the United Nations Charter recognised the principle of self-determination, this was not directly applied in the case of Palestine. The General Assembly, diverging from the final policy decision of the Mandatory Power that Palestine should remain a unified state, recommended the partition of Palestine in a form substantially different from those proposed after the Royal Commission's report ten years earlier. Thus the normal outcome of the implementation of the principle of self-determination, the implementation of the will of the majority, with strong guarantees for the rights of the minority, did not occur in the case of Palestine, although this principle was to provide the base of the subsequent liberation of a large number of colonies in Africa and Asia.

The First Special Session of the General Assembly had appointed a United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to investigate the situation in Palestine and present recommendations. UNSCOP made the following comment concerning the principle of self-determination in Palestine :

The recommendations of UNSCOP itself did not give importance to this funda­mental principle, and the General Assembly resolution proposing the partition of Palestine was based on the majority recommendations of UNSCOP. Indeed there were members of UNSCOP who recommended a unified independent Palestine with guarantees for minority rights, but they had formed a minority, and their recommendations were not endorsed by the General Assembly. The majority proposals, termed "Plan of Partition with Economic Union" was based, inter alia, on the following justifications : The majority partition proposals, envisaging a Jewish state, an Arab state and an internationalized zone for Jerusalem, as well as the minority proposals for a federal state, were closely scrutinized before the General Assembly voted on them. The sub-committee examining the minority plan dealt with the legal implications of the partition of Palestine, pointing out that this would be contravening the principle of self-determination, respect for which was required by the Charter as follows : One of the aims of the General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 partitioning Palestine (map at annex II) was to ensure that the Arab and Jewish states would have Arab and Jewish majorities respectively. In actual fact, given the great disparities between the populations, this became virtually impossible, and the territories to be allotted to the Jewish state held a population that was roughly evenly divided between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs, according to figures from the UNSCOP report:

and others
"The Jewish State
      The Arab State
      City of Jerusalem

The Partition resolution thus awarded over half the territory of Palestine to a third of its inhabitants who, in the words of their representative, "... in a way... are all from outside; they are practically all immigrants..." 5/

During the proceeding in the United Nations, the representatives of the indigenous people of Palestine had already voiced their opposition to the partition plan and the denial of the right of self-determination. The partition of Palestine was also rejected by the Arab states bordering Palestine. With British withdrawal imminent, and armed hostilities between Jewish forces and Palestinian and Arab irregulars already in progress, the Arab states sent forces into Palestine as the British withdrawal was completed.

It is beyond the scope of this study to examine in detail the events that accompanied the ending of the Mandate in 1948. It need only be noted that although the partition plan was not formally implemented by the United Nations, the state of Israel was established and, in the course of the hostilities that took place, its territorial control expanded far beyond the territories allotted by the partition resolution until it occupied over three quarters of the territory of Palestine, and the western part of Jerusalem (map at annex III). The remainder was occupied by Jordan (including East Jerusalem) and Egypt until 1967, when in another war Israeli control again expanded to occupy all of Palestine and other Arab territories in addition (map at annex IV).

Over this period more than half of the indigenous people of Palestine were made refugees, and the only other major resolution passed by the General Assembly (194 (III) of 11 December 1946) became the basis of treating the Palestine issue as a "refugee problem" for twenty years, with the international community paying little heed to the right of self-determination lost by the people of Palestine.




For the first time since the United Nations became involved in the Palestine issue the General Assembly in 1969 recognized and reaffirmed "the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine". 1/ The developments leading to this act again are beyond the scope of this study. It may, however, be noted that, following the 1967 Middle East war, Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) was intended, from the United Nations standpoint, to establish a framework for peace in the Middle East. Yet this resolution did not address the issue of Palestine, which lay at the root of the Middle East dispute, and referred only to "the refugee problem".

Once the General Assembly concerned itself with the problem, however, it consistently and repeatedly reasserted the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.

In 1970, the General Assembly, reasserting previous demands for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967, for the observance of the right of return of the refugees, and for the cessation of violations of human rights, underlined the central position of the Palestine issue in the Middle East situation, declaring that it :

Similarly worded resolutions were passed by the General Assembly in 1971 and 1972.

A year after the Middle East war of October 1973, the cause of self-determination for the Palestinian people began a rapid advance. In September 1974 a large number of Member States of the United Nations moved to restore, for

the first time since 1952, the item "Question of Palestine" on the General Assembly agenda. The following month, Arab heads of state and government meeting at Rabat affirmed "the right of the Arab Palestinian people to the return of

its homeland and its right of self-determination", and recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as "the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people", and the General Assembly invited the PLO to participate in its proceedings 3/.

Some weeks later the Assembly passed, by 87 votes to 8, with 37 abstentions, resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, which is a major instrument of reassertion of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.

The resolution read :

The Assembly also conferred on the Palestine Liberation Organization the status of observer in the Assembly and in other international conferences held under United Nations auspices. 4/

In 1975, the General Assembly requested the Security Council to take action to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their rights, and called for the participation of the PLO, on an equal footing with other parties, in all negotiations on the Middle East held under UN auspices.

The General Assembly in 1975 also again expressed its concern that :

The rights of self-determination for the people of Palestine was also consistently reaffirmed in a series of resolutions passed since 1970 by the General Assembly, entitled "Importance of the universal realisation of the right of peoples to self-determination and of the speedy granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights." These resolutions affirmed that armed struggle was a legitimate means for a liberation movement. Illustrative of this series is the resolution passed by an overwhelming majority in 1977, which read: The General Assembly in 1975 established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People with a mandate to prepare recommendations for a programme of implementation designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their-inalienable rights including: The Committee presented its first report in 1976 7/, the following excerpts dealing with the right of self-determination : The Committee's report and recommendations came before the Security Council in 1976, when a draft resolution was presented declaring that the Council : The resolution failed due to the negative vote of a permanent member of the council (the United States).

The Security Council again considered the Committee's report in October 1977, but adjourned discussion without taking any action, the item still remaining on its agenda.

Thus it will be seen that the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, denied for three decades during the Mandate, ignored for two decades in the United Nations, has over almost the last decade received consistent recognition and strong assertion by a preponderant majority of Member States of the United Nations* acting principally through the same organ, the General Assembly, which recommended the partition of Palestine over thirty years ago.

*Here Judge Tanaka’s opinion (pp. 9-10 supra) regarding the effects of consistently reiterated resolutions of the General Assembly assumes particular relevance.


Chapter I : The Right of Self-Determination in International Law (pp.1-13 )

(1) U.S. Government
Congressional Record, vol. 53 (1916) p. 8854.
Ibid., vol. 54 (1917), p. 1742
(3) United Nations
General Assembly resolution 637 A (VII) of 16 December 1952
General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960
(5) Hocking, William Ernest
(6) Sureda, A. Rigo
The Spirit of World Politics (New York, Macmillan, 1932), p. 196
The Evolution of the Right of Self-Determination (Leiden, A.W. Sijthoff, 1973), pp. 20-21 and 24-27
(7) Brownlie, TanPrinciples of Public International Law (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1973), pp. 575-577
(8) Higgins, Rosalyn"The United Nations and Law-making: The Political Organs" in American Journal of International Law, vol. 64, No. 4, pp. 91-92 and 103-104
(10) International Court of JusticeReports of Judgements, Advisory Opinions and Orders - South West Africa Cases, 1966, pp. 291-292
(11) International Court of JusticeOp.cit., pp. 332 and 341
(12) Parry, Clive"The Function of Law in the International Community" in Sorensen, Max, ed.: Manual of Public International Law (New York, St. Martins Press, 1968) p.19.
(13) Cobban, Alfred
(14) Kilson, Martin (ed.)
(15) Emerson, Rupert
The Nation State and National Self Determination (New York, Cromwell, 1969), p. 144
New States in the Modern World (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1975), p. 154
"Self-Determination" in Proceedings of the American Society of International Law (1966), pp. 136 and 139
(16) Emerson, Rupert
(18) Lachs, Manfred
From Empire to Nation (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 297 and 303.
"The Law In and Out of the United Nations", Indian Journal of International Law, vol. I (1961), pp. 438-439
(19) Schwarzenberger, Georg International Law and Order (London, Stevens, 1971), pp, 27-28

Chapter II : Palestine and Self-Determination - The Peace Conference (pp.14-21)

(1) The British GovernmentCorrespondence between Sir Henry McMahon and Sherif Hussein of Mecca,
Cmd. 5957 (1939)
(2)Report of a Committee on Correspondence between Sir Henry McMahon and the Sherif of Mecca, Cmd. 5974 (1939), p. 48
(6) Linowitz, Sol
Ibid., p. 49
Ibid., p. 50
Ibid., p. 11
"The Legal Basis for the State of Israel", American Bar Association Journal, vol. 43 (1957), p. 522
(7) Herzl, TheodorThe Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, (New York, the Herzl Press, 1960), vol. I, p. 343
(8) British Government
(9) United States Government
Public Record Office, Foreign Office No. 371/5114 (1919)
Foreign Relations of the United States : the Paris Peace Conference, (Washington, 1944), vol. I, pp.1-14
(10) British Government
(12) Hocking
(13) Emerson
Public Record Office, Foreign Office No. 371/4183 (1919)
Public Record Office, Foreign Office No. 800/217 (1919)
Op. cit., pp. 372-374
From Empire to Nation, pp. 313-314

Chapter III: Palestine and Self-Determination - The Mandate Period (pp.22 -28)

(1) British Government
(2) United Nations
Palestine: Statement of Policy, Cmd. 1700 (1922)
Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session, Supplement No. 11, document A/364 (Report of the UN Committee on Palestine), vol. II, p.31
(3) Government of PalestineA Survey of Palestine - Supplement (Jerusalem, 1947), p.10
(4) British Government
Palestine Royal Commission: Report, Cmd. 5479 (1937), p. 50
Palestine: Disturbances of 1921; Report of the Commission of Inquiry, Cmd. 1540 (1921), p. 59
(6) Report of the Commission on the Palestine
Disturbances of August 1929,Cmd. 3530 (1930), pp.124ff
(11) Esco Foundation for Palestine
Palestine Royal Commission: Report, Cmd. 5479 (1937), pp. 82 and 84
Ibid., pp. 41-42, 55-56 and 58
Ibid., pp. 110-111
Ibid., pp. 130-132
Palestine: A Study of Jewish, Arab and British Policies (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1947), vol. III, pp. 855-856
(12) British Government
(13) Laquer, Walter
(14) British Government
(15) Hocking
Statement of Policy, Cmd 6019 (1939)
The Israel Arab Reader (New York, Bantam Books, 1976), pp. 6-11
Report of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, Cmd. 6808 (1946), pp. 29-30
Op. cit., p. 354

Chapter IV: Palestine and the United Nations - The First Phase (pp. 29-32)

(1) United Nations Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session, Supplement No. 11, document A/364 (UNSCOP Report), vol. 1 p. 35
(2)Ibid., p.47
(3)Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session: Ad Hoc Committee on-the Palestinian Question - Summary Records, document A/AC.14/32, pp.278-279
(4)Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session Supplement No. 11, document A/364, (UNSCOP Report), vol. I, p. 54
(5)Official Records of the General Assembly, First Special Session, Main Committees, vol. III, p.253

Chapter V : The Affirmation by the United Nations of the Right of Self-Determination of the Palestinian People (pp. 33-37)

(1) United Nations General Assembly resolution 2535 B (XXIV) of 10 December 1969
(2)General Assembly resolution 2672 C (XXV) of 8 December 1970
(3)General Assembly resolution 3210 (XXIX) of 14 October 1974
(4)General Assembly resolution 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974
(5)General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975
(6)General Assembly resolution 32/14 of 7 November 1977. The vote was 113 in favour, 3 against and 18 abstentions.

The preceding resolutions in the series were:

2621 (XXV) of 12 October 1970
2787 (XXVI) of 6 December 1971
2955 (XXVII) of 12 December 1972
3070 (XXVIII) of 30 November 1973
3246 (XXIX) of 29 November 1974
3382 (XXX) of 10 November 1975
31/34 of 30 November 1976
Resolution 2955 (XXVII) did not specifically mention Palestine.
(7)Document A/31/35


    Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations - Text
    The Partition Plan, 1947 - Map
    The Armistice Lines, 1949 - Map
    Territories Occupied by Israel, June 1967 - Map


Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, 28 June 1919

Article 22. To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.

The best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that the tutelage of such peoples should be entrusted to advanced nations who by reason of their resources, their experience or their geographical position can best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing to accept it, and that this tutelage should be exercised' by them as Mandatories on behalf of the League.

The character of the mandate must differ according to the stage of the development of the people, the geographical situation of the territory, its economic conditions and other similar circumstances.

Certain communities formerly belonging:to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be pro­visionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.

Other peoples, especially those of Central Africa, are at such a stage that the Mandatory must be responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience and religion, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, the prohibition of abuses such as the slave trade, the arms traffic and the liquor traffic, and the prevention of the establishment of fortifications or military and naval bases and of military training of the natives for other than police purposes and the defence of territory, and will also secure-equal opportunities for the trade and commerce of other Members of the League.

There are territories, such as South-west Africa and certain of the South Pacific Islands, which, owing to the sparseness of their population, or their small size, or their remoteness from the centres of civilization, or their geographical contiguity to the territory of the Mandatory, and other circumstances, can be best administered under the laws of the Mandatory as integral portions of its territory, subject to the safeguards above mentioned in the interests of the indigenous population.

In every case of Mandate, the Mandatory shall render to the Council an annual report in reference to the territory committed to its charge.

The degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory shall, if not previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, be explicitly defined in each case by the Council.

A permanent Commission shall be constituted to receive and examine the annual reports of the Mandatories and to advise the Council on all matters relating to the observance of the mandates.


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